Dogs are twice as likely to die from chocolate poisoning at Easter. Keep Easter Eggs locked away to avoid dog deaths
Packleaders – Dog Walkers in Stevenage and Knebworth are warning dog owners to keep their pets safe by locking away the Easter eggs.
The third most common reasons dog owners call vets is due to dogs suffering chocolate poisoning. Many dogs die as a result of Easter eggs being left within reach of dogs. Nobody wants their Easter holiday ruined, least of all your much-loved dog, so please keep Easter Eggs out of harm’s way. Make sure children don’t feed chocolate to your dog, or leave Easter eggs on the floor or furniture, where dogs can reach them. Pet insurance claims double at Easter due to dogs eating Easter eggs and suffering from chocolate poisoning.
Chocolate contains theobromine, a substance occurring naturally in cocoa beans, which is easily broken down in the human body. However, a dog’s digestive system cannot break it down and it becomes toxic, having a serious effect on the heart, kidneys and nervous system.
If a dog has eaten chocolate in a damaging amount, signs begin to manifest themselves within 4-24 hours. Symptoms include:
- Vomiting and vomit may include blood
- Hyperactivity, restlessness and cannot settle
- Panting and rapid breathing
- Lack of coordination
If your dog has eaten chocolate, it is best to contact your vet straight away. Your vet will want to know what type of chocolate and the approximate quantity of chocolate consumed. They will also want to know the approximate weight of your dog, as small dogs are at far higher risk than large dogs.
Twenty five grams (1oz) of chocolate contains the following:
- White chocolate has minimal theobromine
- Milk chocolate 44-64mg
- Semi-sweet and sweet dark chocolate 150-160mg
- High cocoa solids dark chocolate 390-450mg
- Dry cocoa powder 800mg
Clearly dark chocolate is most dangerous to dogs with as little as a tablespoon full being life-threatening to a Yorkshire Terrier. Though much larger, five tablespoons is sufficient to make a Labrador seriously ill. Unfortunately, there is no antidote to chocolate poisoning and vets usually induce vomiting or feed dogs activated charcoal to aid recovery.
Packleaders – Dog Walkers in Stevenage & Knebworth would urge all dog owners to keep chocolate and Easter eggs well away from dogs this Easter. If your dog does eat chocolate, do please contact your vet straight away, as with rapid intervention and treatment, the prognosis for poisoned dogs is usually good.